Dear colleagues:

The recent state budget impasse revealed yet again that our faculty and staff are the heartbeat of the University of Illinois System. Your commitment helped us weather two years of historic funding shortfalls without diminishing our rich legacy of excellence and world-class service to students, discovery and the public good.

A competitive employee compensation program is essential to recognize hard work, and to ensure that we continue to recruit and retain the leading-edge talent that will secure the U of I System’s strong future.

So I am pleased to announce a modest, merit-based salary program for the 2017-2018 academic year. The 1 percent program, which will be reflected in September’s payroll, builds on the mid-year, 2 percent performance-based program implemented in February.

The program was developed thanks to ongoing efforts to steward our resources efficiently, and this month’s approval of the state’s first full budget since fiscal year 2015.

We hoped to do more, but the program is tempered by prudent caution amid lingering financial uncertainties, including the impact of possible changes in state funding for pension and healthcare benefits. Still, it signals our commitment to employees and to an annual, predictable salary program to reward their dedicated service.

This merit-based salary program will be applicable to most academic and civil service employees, except for employees whose wages are set through the collective bargaining process. Those employees may be eligible for an increase based upon the negotiation process and the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

I hope this program reflects our deep appreciation for everything you do to serve our universities, our students and our state. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and I wish you the very best as a new academic year begins.



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